France - Loire Valley
The valley includes historic towns such as Amboise, Angers, Blois, Chinon, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours.
The architectural heritage in the valley's historic towns is notable, especially its châteaux, such as the Château d'Amboise, Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, Château de Villandry.
The châteaux, numbering more than three hundred, represent a nation of builders starting with the necessary castle fortifications in the 10th century to the splendor of those built half a millennium later.
In addition to its many châteaux, the cultural monuments illustrate to an exceptional degree the ideals of the Renaissance and the Age of the Enlightenment on western European thought and design.